We are Kiara, Aiyanna, and Zinnia, students from The Anacapa School, and the current garden interns here at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation (SBTHP). We’ve had this internship for about 3 months now. During our time here we’ve been tending to the wheat that was planted in late October of last year. Our first task when we come to the Presidio was to water the wheat in the Northeast corner gardens and El Cuartel. Since our time here we’ve seen it thrive and grow very rapidly.
During the “Presidio Pastimes by Candlelight” public program for First Thursday in March we participated by demonstrating the entire wheat harvesting process. We started off by threshing wheat from last season, removing the chaff, and then grinding the white Sonora wheat seeds into flour using a mano and metate.
Since our time here we’ve been helping Mike plant several plants in the gardens, such as pumpkins and cucumber in El Cuartel, and mint in the Northeast corner gardens. We also planted several varieties from seeds and cuttings, including popcorn, pumpkins, cucumbers, lima beans, grape vine cuttings, a variety of tomatoes, peppers, squash, gourds, and many others. When they are larger, many of the seedlings will be planted in the gardens. Several were also sold at a plant sale held during the Founding Day celebration on April 21 to benefit SBTHPs Presidio garden project.
We recently participated in the SBTHP’s “Early California Day” on April 20, where local elementary schools came and visited different living history stations representing Santa Barbara’s past. We were stationed in the early California plant demonstration, where we taught the students about native and non-native plants in the area, and the use of each plant that was available in the area.
We’ve really enjoyed our time here and cannot wait to see our plants grow!
Kiara, Aiyanna and Zinnia will tend the garden until mid-May, when Anacapa School breaks for the summer. We have all enjoyed working with these bright young women, and have also enjoyed some of the fruits of their labor!